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Tag Archives: Heidi Fisk

My E-Learning Voiceovers Program Was a Great Success!

If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you know I was asked to teach a full-day pre-conference certificate program on How to Create and Deliver e-Learning Voiceovers Like a Pro for the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions 2011 conference.  I had 13 wonderful students from across the U.S. and Canada.  I had designed an extremely hands-on program, which gave everyone lots of opportunity to practice new ideas and tricks as I taught them throughout the day.  We worked on writing and rewriting scripts to turn them into compelling voiceover copy, we worked on basic relaxation exercises and vocal techniques, and we worked on the essentials of recording and editing voiceover files.  Then I held an extended lab in the afternoon where participants worked on creating scripts and audio content while I walked around the room, working one-on-one with each and every student to answer questions and provide suggestions and guidance.  At the end of the day, each student did a mini-presentation, playing and discussing the difference between audio files they created first thing that day, and then again at the end of the day, using the same script.  The improvements in every case were audible and substantial.  I was proud of all the students for the progress they demonstrated in the space of just one day!  I was also both pleased and humbled when I read all of the anonymous student feedback the following day; it means a lot to me to have made such a positive impact with my teaching.  I salute each and every one of my students for working so hard, and for doing such a great job!

NOTE: If you were one of my students, and would be willing to let me put your “TakeOne” and “TakeTwo” files (either anonymously or with your name, as you please) into a little mini-presentation I’m thinking of creating about the class, please contact me.  It will likely include a very brief overview of the topics, some of the written feedback, and audio samples.  There’s no better evidence than the great work produced in class that day!

I’m not usually the type to wear a “slogan” T-shirt, but when I arrived in Orlando, I found a Disney store that allowed you to create your own design, and so I created the one shown in the picture here, and proudly wore it for my class: “E-Learning Without Human Voiceovers?  That’s Like a Grin Without a Cat!” 

My thanks to Heidi Fisk of the eLearning Guild for inviting me to teach again this year.  It was a fantastic experience, and I’d love to do it again.  In the meantime, I do coach on eLearning voiceover skills one-on-one, or for a team; you can find more info on my Coaching tab.

My Presentation Skills Classes at Learning Solutions Were a Hit

I’ve just returned from attending the Adobe Learning Summit 2011, and from being both presenter and attendee at the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions 2011 conference.  I had a fantastic time.  Both conferences had excellent keynote speakers:  Steven Berlin Johnson on the collaborative nature of innovation, John Medina on applying “brain rules” to learning, Nancy Duarte on visual impact, and Michael Wesch with a moving final talk on the implicit social responsibility behind social media.  There were also some very good peer-led sessions as well at both conferences.  Plus, it’s always exciting to see the new eLearning products from the vendors at the Expo.   Articulate’s upcoming “Storylines” and Michael Allen’s long-awaited “Zebra” are both coming to market this year, and you should keep an eye on both of those software applications; they have enormous potential. 

At the Adobe Summitt, I was delighted to meet Shameer, Akshay, RJ, Allen, and a lot more of the brilliant folks behind Adobe’s wonderful Captivate software.  They were great to talk to, and extremely responsive to everyone’s suggestions for future enhancements.  I’m sending them a list! 

It was fantastic to have the two conferences co-located in the same week; I hope that becomes an annual plan.  The perfect Orlando weather didn’t hurt, either. 

In addition to my full-day pre-conference certificate program on voiceovers (see my next post for a write-up!) as part of the Learning Solutions conference, I also led a one-hour Presentation Skills 101 class each of the three days of that conference, helping e-Learning professionals overcome the classic roadblocks to delivering an engaging and inspiring presentation, regardless of the topic or medium.  The attendees participated actively, contributing great examples from their own experiences, and gave me great reviews afterward.  I like to think that there are a lot more e-Learning professionals out there now who can get up in front of any audience with confidence and really make a difference.  I was very pleased that Nancy Duarte’s conceptual talk about the importance of “resonating” with an audience was a perfect companion talk to my own sessions, which provided hands-on ways to do it!

I also met a lot of great people from all over the place, and hope a lot of us can stay in touch here, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook, now that the conferences are over.  My only regret: I couldn’t fit the gorgeous Orlando weather into my suitcase to bring home with me!  😀

NOTE: If you attended one of my Presentation Skills 101 sessions, I’d love to hear from you about how you’re implementing the tips & tricks I shared.  I’m always happy to bounce around new ideas, or offer suggestions, if I can be of further help.  If you didn’t attend, but this sounds like coaching you need, please see my Coaching tab.

My thanks again to Heidi Fisk of the eLearning Guild for inviting me to present these sessions, and to Juli Balding, Ina Brasher, and the rest of the gang at the eLearning Guild for the fantastic support throughout.  Well done, all!

Presentation Skills Morning Buzz at Learning Solutions 2011

In addition to the full-day eLearning voiceovers program I’m teaching as part of the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions 2011 conference in Orlando, I’m also going to be leading discussion/coaching sessions as part of the Morning Buzz breakfast chat programs from 7:15-8:15AM  on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 3/23-25.  I’ll be in the Crystal Room on the ground floor of the Disney Hilton for these three Morning Buzz sessions.

When Heidi Fisk and I discussed making session this available, my goal was two-fold: First, I want to help eLearning professionals improve their speaking and presentation skills so that they can “sell” their important ideas to stakeholders and advocate for eLearning more compellingly.  Second, I’ve noticed that at any conference, there is always a mix of people who can really stand up and command the room, and others who may have interesting ideas but simply don’t know how to “connect” with the audience.  Bottom line:  If you can’t communicate effectively, your great ideas may not reach the people who need to hear them.  If you’re focused on your laptop, never making eye contact, never “engaging” the room, your ideas may languish unappreciated.  I can help.

So, I’m offering my Presentation Skills 101 session as part of the Morning Buzz each day in the hopes that some of my attendees will be speakers from the conference itself who need some quick, proven tips & tricks to really make their sessions memorable.  If you know anyone presenting at Learning Solutions 2011, by all means, suggest they stop in for one of my sessions before they give their own.  I’m betting that even someone who already feels comfortable in front of an audience will pick up a couple of tips.  I usually charge $125/person for a session like this, so for attendees this represents an hour well “spent!”

If you haven’t already signed up for Learning Solutions 2011, it promises to be an excellent conference and you really should consider attending.  Click the logo on this post to visit the site, read the agenda, and sign up.  They also have great iPhone/iPad/Android apps so you can carry your conference schedule with you everywhere.  I’ve already downloaded mine and have started setting up my schedule.  Neat!

Learning Solutions 2011

Well, it’s official!  Heidi Fisk of the eLearning Guild has asked me back for the 2011 Learning Solutions conference in Orlando, Florida.  This time, I’ll be offering Breakfast Bytes coaching and discussion sessions on basic Presentation Skills each day, as well as a pre-conference full day hands-on workshop focusing on creating quality voiceovers for eLearning.  Stay tuned to future blog posts for more details about both!

My eLearning Guild Online Forum Appearance Was a Blast

My thanks to all the folks who tuned into my seminar Giving Voice to Your eLearning at the eLearning Guild’s Online Forum.  The participants were great about sharing personal successes, challenges, questions, and ideas.  And I was thrilled to receive great reviews from the online survey responses at the end of the session.  I really appreciate all the feedback I received, and I’m very glad attendees felt their time with me was well spent.  My goal was to focus on demystifying the process of including voiceovers in eLearning, and to provide attendees with simple, actionable tips and tricks to apply whether creating voiceovers in-house, or hiring professionals.  Based on the responses, people left the seminar with a lot of ideas they’ll use back on the job.

If you attended the session, I hope you’ll drop a line here on my web site and keep me posted on how you’re doing with adding voiceovers to your own eLearning projects.  I’m always happy to share experiences, trade ideas, and provide any guidance I can based on my own experience both as the person preparing the course content, and as the person recording the voiceovers.  If you attended the October Online Forum but missed my session, a recorded version is available on the Event Resources page, along with a downloadable version of the supporting presentation, with links and sample templates.

My thanks again to Tammy Olson for facilitating my session, as well as for three excellent preparatory meetings.  And a big thank you to Heidi Fisk as well, for inviting me to present this encore of my seminar.  It was a great experience, and I look forward to more in the future!

My eLearning Guild Voiceover Seminar is Friday October 8th

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Heidi Fisk of the eLearning Guild has asked me to give an encore presentation of my seminar Giving Voice to Your eLearning, which I originally gave at the Guild’s March 2010 conference in Orlando.  My online encore will be this Friday, October 8th, as part of the Guild’s October Online Forum on incorporating media in eLearning.  This will be different for me from the March presentation, as this time of course I won’t actually be in a room with participants.  At the online forums, participants don’t have speech capability, but they do have chat and polling ability, so I’ve retooled my presentation to align with the online conference technology.  I’ve also added a little bit of new content, and am looking forward to sharing my introductory session with Friday’s participants.  Many thanks to the tireless Tammy Olson of the Guild, who has worked with me to prepare and test the tech aspects of my presentation.  I couldn’t have done it without her! 

If you’re participating in the online forum this Thursday and Friday, my session is #402, at 11:30am Eastern on Friday, October 8th.  You can still sign up and see the full agenda by clicking the Online Forums image on this post.  I hope to “see” some of you there!

My Voiceover Seminar Encore for the eLearning Guild

Heidi Fisk of the eLearning Guild called the other day to say that the seminar I gave at the eLearning Guild’s spring Learning Solutions 2010 conference was so well received that they’d like me to reprise it as part of their October 2-day Online Forum on using media effectively in eLearning.  The dates work out for my calendar, so I was delighted to accept!  I got great feeback from the seminar I led in Orlando, and I look forward to sharing my seminar Giving Voice to Your eLearning with a wider audience online in the virtual conference world.  Thanks to everyone who shared their feedback about my Orlando session; this return engagement would not have happened without your support.  Heidi and I have also started talking about my offering a more advanced, hands-on coaching session in spring 2011.  Stay tuned for more on that possibility!  In the meantime, you can click the image on the right to see information about the upcoming Online Forum.